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Ritual and Archaic States$
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Joanne M.A. Murphy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062785

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062785.001.0001

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Religious Ritual and Wari State Expansion

Religious Ritual and Wari State Expansion

(p.131) 6 Religious Ritual and Wari State Expansion
Ritual and Archaic States

Patrick Ryan Williams

Donna J. Nash

University Press of Florida

The role of ritual and religion in the expansion of archaic states is often overlooked in favor of militaristic or economic explanations. In chapter 6, Williams and Nash explore religious ritual practice in the reproduction of social order at the Wari (600–1000 CE) colony in Moquegua, Peru, focusing on ritually important activities in three architecturally distinctive ceremonial structures around Cerro Baúl: Wari D-shaped temples; huaca shrines; and Titicaca Basin–inspired platform-sunken court complexes. Activities in all these structures take place contemporaneously on and around the Wari citadel situated on the 600-meter-tall mesa on the southern Wari frontier. According to the authors, the diverse rites in these complexes promoted the promulgation of distinct elite identities within the cosmopolitan sphere of what constituted Wari provincialism. However, it is the inclusiveness of ritual practice in the Wari centers that is most distinctive of Wari doctrine. It is through this incorporation of elite diversity in particular places on the landscape that Wari was able to weave together the foundations for pluralism that constituted Wari religious hegemony.

Keywords:   Wari, Cerro Baúl, D-shaped temples, elite identity, religious hegemony, huaca shrine, court complex, provincialism, pluralism, Titicaca

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